COMMUNITIES OF PRACTICE
The lawyers that I deal with on divorce work…we usually know one another. We've had other cases together. We both tend to view the case similarly. We're gonna be advocates for our clients, but we will obviously talk to one another and try to effectuate a satisfactory result without a lot of discord and difficulty.
—a New Hampshire divorce lawyer
Lawyers inhabit layered and overlapping communities of practice that help to constitute the multiple meanings of legal professionalism. In the eyes of some theorists and many bar leaders and law teachers, the legal profession as a whole provides the community that defines professional norms and shapes the conduct of practitioners. Yet, such claims have been challenged by those who view the decisions of lawyers as reflective of personal identities or as shaped by their work settings and clients instead. In this chapter we try to draw these different perspectives together to trace a more complex and differentiated view of collegial com-